Barbara VanDenburgh Movie Reviews & Previews - Rotten Tomatoes

Barbara VanDenburgh

Barbara VanDenburgh
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
2.5/5 71% Destroyer (2018) If there's a powerful performance here, it's obscured by the ludicrous Kabuki mask of pain in which Kidman is outfitted.‐ Arizona Republic
Read More | Posted Jan 16, 2019
4/5 94% Cold War (Zimna wojna) (2018) "Cold War" devastates all the same, and its meditations on what might have been and what could never be haunt long after the gutting final frame.‐ Arizona Republic
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2019
1.5/5 15% The Aspern Papers (2019) Landais certainly brought little cinematic verve to "The Aspern Papers," telling the story largely in turgid literary voiceover lifted directly from the original source material.‐ Arizona Republic
Read More | Posted Jan 7, 2019
3.5/5 92% Bumblebee (2018) Maybe the key to getting a good Transformers movie this whole time was simply hiring a woman to write the screenplay.‐ Arizona Republic
Read More | Posted Dec 19, 2018
2/5 64% Aquaman (2018) There is the occasional cool visual and clever world-building detail, like jellyfish couture and eye-popping underwater physics, but "Aquaman" never fully commits to its lunacy.‐ Arizona Republic
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2018
4/5 60% The House That Jack Built (2018) To dismiss "Jack" out of hand in offense is not just to miss von Trier's point, but to prove it.‐ Arizona Republic
Read More | Posted Dec 16, 2018
4.5/5 97% Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) It breathes youthful life into a tired franchise and makes the smartest transition yet of characters from the comics to the big screen with clever animation and thoughtful storytelling.‐ Arizona Republic
Read More | Posted Dec 13, 2018
3.5/5 96% Becoming Astrid (Unga Astrid) (2018) Though "Becoming Astrid" is unflinching in its depictions of Astrid's pain, it does not wallow. A shallower story would be rife with villains, but there are none here.‐ Arizona Republic
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2018
3.5/5 80% At Eternity's Gate (2018) Dafoe might not make logical sense in the role, but he commands it, his demon-haunted eyes communicating the artist's inner turmoil during the fertile creative period in the south of France that presaged his final unraveling.‐ Arizona Republic
Read More | Posted Nov 19, 2018
4/5 91% Widows (2018) This is the most fun McQueen has ever been - not a high bar to clear, given his particular brand of misery porn - but that fun still comes with a bullet.‐ Arizona Republic
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2018
2.5/5 82% Instant Family (2018) Too well-meaning and sincere to truly dislike, but too frictionless and manufactured to do right by the complicated scenario.‐ Arizona Republic
Read More | Posted Nov 14, 2018
3/5 81% Green Book (2018) It would be more insulting if Ali and Mortensen weren't milking the formula for all it's worth, gifting the film unearned grace with their magnetism.‐ Arizona Republic
Read More | Posted Nov 14, 2018
4/5 88% What They Had (2018) "What They Had"... achieves a delicate balance of tone, finding the humor in the irrepressibly sad, the love in daily toil, the soul in a disease that seeks to obliterate it.‐ Arizona Republic
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2018
2.5/5 71% Galveston (2018) Despite its ostensive seriousness, "Galveston" is a tepid crime drama without talons sharp enough to sink into the audience.‐ Arizona Republic
Read More | Posted Oct 15, 2018
4.5/5 88% First Man (2018) A sweeping biographical drama of Armstrong's decade-long march to the moon, test by grueling test, told without romance from the pilot's-eye view.‐ Arizona Republic
Read More | Posted Oct 8, 2018
3/5 52% Papillon (2018) Hunnam and Malek acquit themselves finely, neither trying to imitate his predecessor.‐ Arizona Republic
Read More | Posted Aug 21, 2018
2/5 49% The Spy Who Dumped Me (2018) It's criminal to cast this many talented people - Gillian Anderson! Fred Melamed! Jane Curtin! Paul Reiser! - and not write them any jokes that don't rely on shock gags, toilet humor and cliché social observations.‐ Arizona Republic
Read More | Posted Jul 27, 2018
4/5 51% Equalizer 2 (2018) Betrayal, loss, grief, redemption - it's the stuff great characters are built on. And it makes all those thrilling knife fights and broken bones actually mean something.‐ Arizona Republic
Read More | Posted Jul 19, 2018
2.5/5 60% Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (2018) Perhaps a vacation would serve this tired franchise well.‐ Arizona Republic
Read More | Posted Jul 13, 2018
2/5 33% The Catcher Was A Spy (2018) "The Catcher Was a Spy" only ever penetrates the surface - of Berg's psyche, of heroism in the face of evil, of America's pastime - so that historical events ostensibly thrilling are rendered rote.‐ Arizona Republic
Read More | Posted Jun 21, 2018
4/5 100% Summer 1993 (Estiu 1993) (2018) It's a film entirely lacking in pomp, but there's a certain bravado in its delicate reservation. A tender and spare meditation on family unfurls in the stillness of a sleepy, sun-soaked Spanish summer.‐ Arizona Republic
Read More | Posted Jun 14, 2018
3.5/5 92% Hearts Beat Loud (2018) You've heard this song before and can predict all the emotional high notes before they hit, but sometimes that's all you need from a summer bop.‐ Arizona Republic
Read More | Posted Jun 14, 2018
2/5 40% Mary Shelley (2018) To make boring the revelries of 19th century literati is no mean feat, but it is "Mary Shelley's" chief accomplishment.‐ Arizona Republic
Read More | Posted Jun 7, 2018
4/5 93% Beast (2018) The dark nail-biter eschews the obvious at every turn and is less a whodunit than a twisted moral meditation grounded by its mesmerizing leading lady.‐ Arizona Republic
Read More | Posted May 17, 2018
1/5 16% Show Dogs (2018) When you find yourself longing for "Turner and Hooch," things are very bleak indeed.‐ Arizona Republic
Read More | Posted May 17, 2018
2.5/5 74% Little Pink House (2018) A workmanlike dramatization of a controversial Supreme Court decision that never quite makes a case for itself.‐ Arizona Republic
Read More | Posted May 10, 2018
3/5 74% The House of Tomorrow (2018) The pedestrian narrative still makes for a winsome coming-of-age tale, buoyed as it is by a talented cast and visually striking setting.‐ Arizona Republic
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2018
3/5 85% Love After Love (2018) It's a film intentionally adrift, rambling between a loose succession of family gatherings and dinner parties with subdued style, the camera feeling like just another person at the edge of the room.‐ Arizona Republic
Read More | Posted Apr 19, 2018
3.5/5 82% Where Is Kyra? (2018) Gosh, but it's good to have Michelle Pfeiffer back.‐ Arizona Republic
Read More | Posted Apr 12, 2018
2.5/5 81% Beirut (2018) 'Beirut' should have the grace to tell a story at least as good as the native one it eschewed, but instead we're plunged into a murky geopolitical morass peopled with paper-thin characters with little emotional resonance.‐ Arizona Republic
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2018
3.5/5 95% Foxtrot (2018) "Foxtrot" is far too interior to be called flashy, but there's something striking in director Samuel Maoz's visual confidence, the way he translates his characters' states of mind into images.‐ Arizona Republic
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2018
1.5/5 21% Midnight Sun (2018) Schwarzenegger's chief skills are leaning against things, looking confused and having good hair, while Thorne struggles to convincingly lip sync.‐ Arizona Republic
Read More | Posted Mar 23, 2018
2/5 50% Flower (2018) It feels like the work of indie filmmakers weaned on Todd Solondz movies, adopting all of the ugliness but none of the insight, without even shock value to show for it.‐ Arizona Republic
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2018
4/5 94% A Fantastic Woman (Una mujer fantástica) (2018) "A Fantastic Woman" is a superb Chilean drama, at times infuriating but never despairing.‐ Arizona Republic
Read More | Posted Feb 22, 2018
2/5 64% Peter Rabbit (2018) For anyone familiar with the original "Peter Rabbit," it's a little depressing to see its storybook charm reduced to slapstick.‐ Arizona Republic
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2018
2.5/5 51% Freak Show (2018) It's a Frankenstein's monster of teen comedies, lumbering from one cliché to the next on its way to an inevitable conclusion.‐ Arizona Republic
Read More | Posted Jan 25, 2018
3/5 70% Happy End (2017) Haneke's technique is almost provocation, and it proves a fascinating intellectual exercise. But while you can admire the construction, you can't live in it.‐ Arizona Republic
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2018
1.5/5 0% Acts of Violence (2018) The title "Acts of Violence" has less to do with the storyline of the movie it graces and more about what's perpetrated against the audience watching it.‐ Arizona Republic
Read More | Posted Jan 11, 2018
4/5 100% Paddington 2 (2018) There are slapstick hijinks and silly scenarios aplenty, but at its heart "Paddington 2" has something serious to say about making the world a better place through daily acts of kindness.‐ Arizona Republic
Read More | Posted Jan 11, 2018
1/5 30% Wonder Wheel (2017) The dialogue is agony. Winslet is given some especial doozies to deliver with a straight face.‐ Arizona Republic
Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2017
3.5/5 92% Thelma (2017) "Thelma" treads the line between the psychological and supernatural, gracefully at first, and then with increasing abandon.‐ Arizona Republic
Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2017
3.5/5 95% The Breadwinner (2017) The animation is expressive, as lush and detailed as tapestry. Harsh landscapes shimmer with beauty, even when littered with the bones of landmines and abandoned tanks.‐ Arizona Republic
Read More | Posted Nov 30, 2017
3.5/5 86% My Friend Dahmer (2017) A morbidly fascinating peek behind the blood-stained curtains.‐ Arizona Republic
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2017
2.5/5 31% A Bad Moms Christmas (2017) IIt's kind of funny the first time a cute kid drops an F-bomb out of the blue; the fourth time, less so.‐ Arizona Republic
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2017
1.5/5 7% The Snowman (2017) "The Snowman" is like if aliens studied humanity and tried to make their own movie in an attempt to communicate with us.‐ Arizona Republic
Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2017
3.5/5 63% Goodbye Christopher Robin (2017) "Goodbye Christopher Robin" is an emotionally layered story about failures in parenting that gave rise to one of our most enduring joys.‐ Arizona Republic
Read More | Posted Oct 12, 2017
3.5/5 48% My Little Pony: The Movie (2017) It's always nice when a kid's film aims higher than the bare necessities, especially when it's a beloved property that doesn't have to.‐ Arizona Republic
Read More | Posted Oct 5, 2017
2/5 24% Woodshock (2017) There's daring in the film's slow unfurling. The problem, though, isn't one of patience but of payoff. "Woodshock" is beautiful but it's all chassis, a root-dead tree that crumbles beneath the ax.‐ Arizona Republic
Read More | Posted Sep 28, 2017
2/5 28% Rebel in the Rye (2017) A collective of narrative and stylistic cliches, "Rebel in the Rye" is lousy with hagiography, stripping Salinger of any danger, allure or mystery, and making him instead just another insufferable poet-philosopher in your MFA class.‐ Arizona Republic
Read More | Posted Sep 14, 2017
2.5/5 75% Crown Heights (2017) "Crown Heights" is soul-shaking only in the abstract. In execution, it's deathly dull.‐ Arizona Republic
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2017